Police are investigating a possible arson attack at the Sydney home of a political YouTuber after a second fire broke out within six days.
Emergency services were called to the property on Wilga Street in Bondi at around 12.20am on Wednesday to find the veranda of the house well alight. They managed to extinguish the blaze but not before it significantly damaged the home as well as an adjoining property.
Commentator and stand-up comedian Jordan Shanks, who is known as Friendlyjordies, lives at the back of the impacted property, Seven News reported. No one was home at the time of the fire which is suspected to be an arson attack. Adjoining houses were cleared by police during the incident as a precaution.
NSW Police confirmed to Yahoo News Australia the blaze is “being treated as suspicious” following another incident last week.
“Officers are investigating possible links to a fire at the same house reported on Thursday 17 November,” police said in a statement. “Anyone with information that might assist police with their investigation is asked to contact Eastern Suburbs Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”
Residents remain worried that their neighbour is being targeted.
“Friendlyjordies lives at the back so we kind of have a feeling it might have something to do, kind of maybe arson because obviously a lot of people don’t like him,” neighbour Astrid Rickard told Seven News.
Meanwhile Xenophon Davis, a law firm in Sydney, took to Twitter to confirm that it was Mr Shank's home that was “firebombed” on Tuesday night.
“He is safe,” the Tweet read. “We hope that every possible police resource is dedicated today to securing evidence and intel. It might even warrant a Strike Force focused upon terrorism and attempted homicide rather than dangerous jokes.”
Police have established a crime scene and say the fire area will be the subject of an examination by specialist officers as they investigate the cause of the blaze.
Mr Shanks, who has more than 627,000 subscribers on YouTube and almost 97,000 followers on Instagram, rose to fame thanks to his political stunts. Ahead of the 2022 federal election he paid hundreds of dollars for a wave of Hollywood celebrities to record insulting messages for the then Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
He was also embroiled in a defamation case over “corruption” comments he made about the former deputy premier of NSW, John Barilaro, in which he was forced to pay a $100,000 settlement last November.
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